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Ààfin Awon Eniyan (The People’s Palace)

Part 2 Project 2020
Folasade Okunribido
Royal College of Art | UK
Ààfin Awon Eniyan is a home for Alté renegades – a group of 150 young people who have come together to break free from dominant societal expectations. Defined by an immersion in the colour blue, the project forms a political and cultural refuge, informed by the twelfth-century Yoruba afin, that offers a subversive series of spaces of solitude, collectivity and commoning.

The 10,800m2 building is formed of an array of reinforced clay plates, overshadowing the shallow Kudeti river, filling the largest void in the dense centre of Ibadan, Nigeria. Each plate facilitates the phenomenon of light interference, giving the building an oscillating presence on the site, with its blueness creating an aura in the form of structural colour. These qualities bring the architecture into an indexical relation with its inhabitants, reflecting and supporting the unstable perception of counter-cultural communities like the Alté.

The proportion of the plates and evocative blue create an architecture of atmosphere. On the exterior, the blue is elusive, with the largest handmade clay elements left rough, matching the terrain. At the centre, the àgbàlá (courtyards) offer a contrasting material engagement through smaller, polished and glazed clay plates, which bathe the inhabitants in a sapphire glow.

Folasade Okunribido

Tutor(s)
James Kwang-Ho Chung
John NG
Zsusza Peter
2020
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